Aliens land in Williamsburg, Montague Street gets pasta, Prospect Heights gets liquored up, and the road to Morocco veers out of Park Slope in this week’s serving of saucy gossip:
What’s in a name? OK, so maybe the name Oh, My Pasta! doesn’t inspire confidence — but then down a bowl or two of Marco Lasala’s fresher-than-fresh pappardelle ai fungi or orecchiette e cime di rape (that’s Puglian for awesome) and you won’t care what monicker is on the Montague Street awning. Price points are a bit high, but Lasala is trying to invent a whole new way of serving pasta: fancy machines from Italy churn out the fresh noodles hourly — and then you eat them.
Smooth operator: Greg Yerman, owner of the Burrito Bar in Prospect Heights, sure knows how to work a community board. According to the Prospect Heights Patch, he pulled out all the stops during a recent liquor license hearing for M. Helen Kitchen, his upcoming farm-to-table restaurant on the corner of Carlton and Park Places. “In the last six years, we’ve won three commendations from the borough for beautifying our sidewalk (at Burrito Bar). We police and secure the area,” he said. As a clincher, he added that he and his wife are expecting twins in January — convincing the board that he’ll most assuredly need a full bar to go along with the grass-fed beef burgers and organic egg breakfasts at M. Helen.
On the rocks: The booze isn’t flowing so freely over at Community Board 10 in Bay Ridge, which is doing its best to keep Logan’s, the new Spanish restaurant on 71st Street, high and dry. “The community vented at the meeting about the history of the location, which, I felt, was a little bit unfair to me, because I am new,” owner Rafael Abrahante told The Brooklyn Ink, referencing the alleged underage drinking, drugs, money laundering and prostitution that has taken place at previous establishments in the same space. Let’s hope bad behavior doesn’t get in the way of good sangria.
Bye bye Babouche: After abandoning Bay Ridge for the pricier climes of Park Slope, Moroccan eatery Babouche is throwing in the couscous and hightailing it across the river. “We tried to bring some variety to the neighborhood, but we became known more as an event place than a restaurant,” owner Omar Balouma told Here’s Park Slope. “We’re going back to Manhattan.” The blog also reports that nearby neighbor Kiku sushi is set to take over the roomy (and $11,000 a month) Fifth Avenue space. That’s a lot of dragon rolls!
Gwynnett to win it: Here’s a new ’Billyburg boite with plenty of pedigree — Gwynnett Street (on Graham Avenue, just to be confusing), is a market-driven collaboration from the former wine director of Esca and a chef from wd-50. The rustic American resto features the requisite line-up of small and large plates, but with decidedly unfamiliar flavor combos — think fresh cheese dumplings with carrots, grape must and smoked macadamia nuts, and wild salmon with kohlrabi, quince mustard and black barley.
Crown jewel: The owners of Southpaw, Franklin Park, Hanson Dry and Dutch Boy Burger have added a new Crown Heights addition to their growing Brooklyn dynasty. According to Grub Street, The Crown Inn — built out of a dilapidated former bodega — will showcase classic cocktails, 40 bourbons, affordable tap beers, raw oysters, and (shocker!) small plates, like crostini, charcuterie, and cheeses.
Un poquito de Txikito: Ever wondered what Judeo-Spanish food tastes like? Grub Street reports that La Vara, the first Brooklyn venture from the owners of Txikito and El Quinto Pino in Chelsea, will take its influences from the Moorish and Jewish legacies in Spanish cuisine. Challah and chorizo? Paella and potato pancakes? Whatever it means, expect some interesting eats to come out of the space on Clinton Street near Cobble Hill Park this winter.
Unidentified flying restaurant: Hipsters beware; the Martians have landed on Grand Street! You’d have to live light years away to miss newcomer Alien Café’s glaring neon signage, although the edible offerings are far from extraterrestrial (Blue Bottle coffee, chicken sandwiches, veggie burgers, soup). You’d also have to be pre-programmed not to smile at the little Play-Doh aliens tucked into niches on the exposed brick walls. They come in peace!
BYO Buttermilk: What’s better than the duck meatloaf at Buttermilk Channel? Free corkage Tuesdays at Buttermilk Channel! Bococaland shared an open letter from owner Doug Crowell, inviting guests to bring over a wine of their choice, which will be served “in our finest stemware and with elegant flair,” sans pricey restaurant mark-ups. He suggests a “first growth Bordeaux” or that “Grand Cru Chablis behind the milk in your fridge,” so refrain from smuggling in a Two Buck Chuck from the local Trader Joes.
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